lost a post May 15, 2009 4:05 PM   Subscribe

I was just about to post a giant multi link post... for some reason it completely disappeared. In the past, any mefi posts i've worked on have "saved" beautifully if I might have navigated away from the page. I didn't even do that here. What the heck mighta happened?

Using current update of Firefox for PC
posted by Lacking Subtlety to Bugs at 4:05 PM (31 comments total)

Did you get an error message? What was the last thing you did before the disappearing happened? What kind of form did this disappearing take?

Prognosis isn't good, regardless, if your text has gone awol, but I'm not sure we can even start to help guess what happened without more detail. Metafilter itself doesn't "do" very many things during the posting process, so it's not likely there's much meaningful involvement the site itself could have in a weird disappearance. There's just not that many moving parts, etc.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:08 PM on May 15, 2009


... Did you click backspace without the cursor in a text area? That would go back a page. You might be able to go forward to get, say, a preview back.
posted by Pronoiac at 4:12 PM on May 15, 2009


Yeah. I don't think something mefi "did" necessarily. It was just the strangest thing.

I had about five tabs open including the one mefi tab I was using to write my post. On another tab, I copied the URL for one of my links, and clicked back on the mefi posting tab I was working with, only it was a completely blank posting page; as if I had done no work whatsoever. No error message either.

I'm browser/computer competent, but I basically have no idea what the heck happened... outside of potentially blacking out, and deleting all text I had written in all four separate text boxes.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 4:19 PM on May 15, 2009


This doesn't do anything for you this time out, but when I'm working on an epic post I always do it in a text editor and bring it over to the site only when it's already good and drafted.

Never trust a browser. You think it's your friend, but it will fucking cut you.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:27 PM on May 15, 2009 [16 favorites]


You might want to to get Lazarus: Form Recovery. I've only had to use it a few times (although not for Metafilter posts) and it's restored everything in the time it used to take me to say, "Shit! Where did all my text go?"
posted by stefanie at 4:27 PM on May 15, 2009


hmm, my first is thought is that you could have accidentally refreshed the page moving betweent tabs, but Firefox won't clear the form values you entered with a simple refresh. You have to do a hard refresh (Ctrl+Shift+R or Ctrl+F5) to actually clear the values, and that's not very likely.

Another place to look for odd behavior is Greasemonkey scripts and Add-Ons. I'm not sure what would be involved here, but it might be worth looking at what you have installed.
posted by pb (staff) at 4:30 PM on May 15, 2009


The AutoSaveText extension for Firefox has saved me a couple of times.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 4:30 PM on May 15, 2009


What cortex said. I use TextPad.
posted by trip and a half at 4:31 PM on May 15, 2009


I always do it in a text editor and bring it over to the site only when it's already good and drafted.

Never trust a browser. You think it's your friend, but it will fucking cut you.


Yeah, this. It's probably overboard, but I'll build posts in GoLive (what's handy in my dock) if it's more than a few links. It seems like a browser is most likely to eat something if you hit the "post" button, followed by a connection time-out. I've been burned more than once. A lot of times even with comments, I'll do a quick command+a, command+c before I hit "post comment" if I've spent any time at all typing something up.

I mourn for your post. I'd tip a 40 if O'Doul's came in one.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:44 PM on May 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Haha yeah, cortex put it rather well. Me thinks I'll be more cautious with my post building from now on, but as I mentioned before, usually it is so good.

I mourn for my post as well, but if it's any consolation it was about baseball which is where metafilter's collective interest goes to die. I'll post when i have more enthusiasm next week probably.

Thanks for the tips all!
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 4:47 PM on May 15, 2009


...where metafilter's collective interest goes to die.

Heh.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:56 PM on May 15, 2009


but i like baseball :(
posted by PercussivePaul at 4:59 PM on May 15, 2009


I like baseball posts and I don't even like baseball.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:01 PM on May 15, 2009


italicized-emphatic-like jinx, you owe me an overpriced stadium macrobrew
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:01 PM on May 15, 2009


shit. those things are like nine bucks.
posted by PercussivePaul at 5:07 PM on May 15, 2009


Um, yeah, this is what keeps happening to all my posts to the blue. Yup.
posted by inigo2 at 5:08 PM on May 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


After your comments in the pitching thread, yours would be a baseball post I'd read.

Computers are sentient and evil, BTW.
posted by cribcage at 5:11 PM on May 15, 2009


it was about baseball

I love baseball. Please to bring the post. I'm broke & bored, and I'm having baseball withdrawals, as my kid's little league season ended last night.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:15 PM on May 15, 2009


Okay I'll get on this baseball post. no longer featuring a broken spirit.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 5:23 PM on May 15, 2009


POSTED!!!!

Thanks all. It was actually pretty easy getting the links again knowing what I had already found.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 5:44 PM on May 15, 2009


Yay! I like baseball and baseball posts. Especially that one. Thanks!
posted by trip and a half at 5:52 PM on May 15, 2009


Despite being a Tigers fan, I love baseball. (I kid! They're OK this season!)
posted by klangklangston at 6:23 PM on May 15, 2009


cortex: There's just not that many moving parts.

MechaFilter.
posted by bru at 6:31 PM on May 15, 2009


I love happy endings.
posted by box at 6:32 PM on May 15, 2009


I love happy endings.

Be that as it may, I'm still not going to touch that.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:45 PM on May 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh, get your mind out of the gutter--try to think about baseball.
posted by box at 6:52 PM on May 15, 2009


A hurler is a twirler.
posted by danb at 6:59 PM on May 15, 2009


One thing to remember, too, is that most browsers have at least a rudimentary 'undo' capability, although it's focused-object-specific; what I mean is, if you accidentally delete text in a box and then click away, you just have to re-focus on the box (by clicking on it) and then press "control-z."
posted by koeselitz at 12:24 AM on May 16, 2009


... Did you click backspace without the cursor in a text area? That would go back a page. You might be able to go forward to get, say, a preview back.
posted by Pronoiac at 4:12 PM on May 15 [+] [!]


This is the most annoying shit in the world. For whatever reason, browsers think it's cute to have a shortcut like this. How about control-left arrow (with maybe control-right arrow for rtl locales)? That would make just as much sense, and make it much harder to accidentally lose a long editing session.
posted by Jpfed at 10:29 PM on May 16, 2009


odinsdream, that's exactly what AutoSaveText does.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 6:20 PM on May 17, 2009


Yeah, if it's a question of using an existing external script vs. implementing natively on mefi, put your smart money on using the existing script and let us know if e.g. there's something idiosyncratic with how mefi handles forms that breaks the more popular ones, etc.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:04 PM on May 17, 2009


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